Singapore Cinemas To Be Closed for a Month Due to Coronavirus
The Singapore government has ordered the closure of all cinemas in the country for a month. The move was made in reaction to the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The announcement was made by the country’s COVID-19 multi-ministry task force. The measures will run from Thursday at 11.59pm local time until Apr 30.
Gatherings outside school and work will be limited to a maximum of 10 people, the task force said. Its new ruling covers night clubs, discos, karaoke outlets, and theatres where it said there is a high risk of transmission due to sustained close contact over a period of time.
Schools will remain open, but “centre-based tuition and enrichment classes” must be halted. Religious services and congregations will also be suspended, although places of worship may remain open for private worship and funerals, but will be limited to 10 people.
Singapore had generally been seen as successfully managing the spread of the coronavirus, and had largely closed its borders. But in the last few days, the number of confirmed cases has risen steeply, a combination of continuing local infections, and cases imported by Singapore citizens and permanent residents fleeing from Europe, which has replaced China as the disease’s new hotspot.
On Tuesday, Singapore announced 49 new cases, bringing its total to 558, with just 2 deaths. Of the new incidences, 32 were imported cases, with the majority brought in by people flying from the U.K., the Ministry of Health said in its daily briefing.
The Singapore cinema sector is dominated by three vertically-integrated groups. Some 297 screens serve a population of 4.5 million.
Local films typically account for less than 5% of the annual box of office, and audience tastes skew heavily towards mainstream Hollywood fare. The attendance rate per head of population is among the highest in the world, at over 4 visits per person per year, giving a aggregate gross box office of S$175 million ($121 million) in 2019.
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